Great leap forward ends at the medal dais

Michael Phelps is making history in the pool, but even he will be overshadowed by a tidal wave that will sweep his American team from the top of the Olympics medal table.

Cheated out of medals but Cook has no regrets

After more than 20 years out in front in the pages of the British record books, time might be about to start catching up with Kathy Cook. "It's got to be probable, hasn't it?" she said of the prospect of the national 400m record she set as a bronze-medal winner at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 – 49.43sec – being eclipsed by Christine Ohuruogu or Nicola Sanders. "Espec-ially with the edge of domestic rivalry they have between them. That will spur them on."

Berlin turns to technology to bring back the wall

Berlin's leaders were so happy to be rid of the most striking symbol of Cold War division that they tore the city's wall down after the collapse of East Germany and sold much of it off around the world. In retrospect, if only for the money it would have generated in tourism, they wish they had not been so hasty.

German shops 'used Stasi methods to snoop on staff'

More than 150 German companies, including 10 of the country's leading supermarket chains, were yesterday accused of resorting to "Stasi methods" to spy on their staff and collect intimate details about their private lives with hidden cameras, microphones and computer software.

Stasi's official pornography department finally exposed

Western pornography was banned under communism, but the armed forces of the former East Germany made their own sex films featuring bare-breasted female soldiers that were enjoyed by senior officers and outwardly prudish hard-line politicians.

German retail chain accused of using Stasi tactics to spy on staff

Germany's cut-price supermarket chain Lidl was accused yesterday of using Stasi methods to spy on its staff and collect intimate details about their personal lives, including their relationships, bank accounts and the frequency of their lavatory breaks.

Germany's 'Red Oskar' set for more electoral success

The Factory, an "alternative" venue in Hamburg's hip Altona district, was so full that police had to stop more people entering. Inside, crimson-faced and in front of a banner of the same hue, "Red Oskar" Lafontaine, the undisputed king of Germany's radical new "The Left" party was deep into a tirade against warmongers and capitalist neo-liberals.

Germany: Divided and reunited

Angela Merkel: 'We need to elicit a yearning for the sea, a need to build'

From an election address by the leader of the German Christian Democrats, given at a party conference in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
Sport
Vincenzo Nibali rides into Paris on the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France
Tour de FranceVincenzo Nibali is first Italian winner since Marco Pantani in 1998
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried